A third of new staff look for a new job within six months of joining a company and among millennials, the figure is even higher according to research by Deloitte. Embedding a new staff member successfully is the critical factor when it comes to staff retention. Significantly, the average cost of replacing an employee is 20% of that employee’s salary (CBS MoneyWatch).
Here are our key tips on how to effectively integrate new staff into a business.
1. Continuous Onboarding
Many businesses view onboarding as a single event, when in fact it should be a continuous process. Think about how your company comes across to potential employees before they’ve even applied for a job, and have an extended plan for after they’ve arrived. The days are gone when it’s only employees that have to impress employers; the reverse is also true. Those who have left a job within the first six months cite lack of clear responsibilities, inadequate training and unfriendly workplace culture as being key reasons for leaving. Yet new employees who go through a structured onboarding programme are 58% more likely to be with the company after three years according to The Wynhurst Group.
2. Inductions: Welcome Guidance
Once an employee likes a company enough to sign a contract, it’s time to execute a well-planned induction programme, which should form part of the wider onboarding plan. Remember that the focus of an induction programme is to give employees clear guidance on where they fit in an organisation, while reinforcing why it’s a great place to work. Consider giving new employees a single point of contact to welcome them during their first month, ideally a person they met during the recruitment process. Making people feel like a valued part of a business early on is crucial, as it’s estimated a third of employees know whether they will stay with a company long-term after their first week.
3. Objectives and Expectations
Research by employee engagement companies estimates that 60% of companies do not set milestones or goals for their new hires. Many businesses let employees settle in before setting formal objectives, yet the objective setting process itself actually helps people feel embedded in an organisation. Being given clear direction of what’s expected from them gives new employees purpose and tangible reasons to interact with others in the company.
4. Culture and Values
Many businesses have a set of values that guides them, but they’re not always obvious to new employees. Ensure employees get a sense of this early on by practically implementing sessions to demonstrate the positive aspects of the company’s culture. This can be achieved through regular catch-up meetings with managers, as well as frequent away days and team building exercises. If an employee feels part of the company from day one, they’re more likely to want to stay.
5. Commitment to Training
Career development and training is high on the agenda for employees in the modern day. Half of millennials say they’ll leave a company if they’re not given the opportunities to develop fast enough (Deloitte Workplace of the Future Report). Sitting down to discuss a new employee’s training needs and career aspirations early on will reassure them their development will be taken seriously. As well as putting them on formal training courses, tell new employees about other development opportunities they could take advantage of, such as internal mentoring or shadowing schemes.
6. Saying ‘Hello’
There’s a fine line between ‘forced fun’ and unmissable company socials, but do it right and employees will be more compelled to stay with an organisation. Having a lot of options for socialising is the key to success, so ensure there’s something for everyone. This goes beyond team drinks in the pub. Gather people together on sports teams for inter-company competitions, have fundraising cake mornings and organise volunteering parties in the local community. As well as providing an opportunity for new and established employees to get to know each other, it shows new employees their company sees them as people.
From providing structure through onboarding and induction programmes, to regular face-to-face interaction and saying a good old-fashioned ‘hello’, embedding new staff members successfully is easy if you have a plan.